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Speaking to the Survivor: Why People Abuse, Types of Abuse, and Safely Leaving

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The image of domestic violence is often painted as a woman clad with bruises; an image that depicts the physical pain her partner put her through. Visuals of women with black eyes and black and blue limbs are jarring and mostly empathized with more than hidden forms of abuse. Physical violence is a horrifying, real experience that many women and men unfortunately experience, but what happens when the abuse one is experiencing is not visible? How do you visually demonstrate the pain someone goes though when their partner is constantly lying and gaslighting them? How do you visibly showcase the post traumatic stress someone can experience when they endure prolonged verbal abuse, name calling, put downs, and character assassinations? October…

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The Sex Addict

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While no single behavioral pattern constitutes a sexual addiction, a prevailing characteristic of sexual dependency is its ability to dominate one’s life. The sex addict places sex above all, including family, friends and career. In an effort to preserve and continue their compulsive behavior, an addict will sacrifice meaningful relationships and opportunities, giving more and more power to their obsession. Caught up in the whirlwind of ‘acting out’ behaviors such as compulsive masturbation, anonymous sex, pornography, prostitution, exhibitionism, voyeurism, indecent phone calls, massage parlors and strip clubs, the lives of sexual addicts become consumed and unmanageable. While less common, some acting out behaviors can evolve into offending behavior, such as child molestation, incest, rape or other forms of sexual violence.…

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Poor Body Image and the Link To Eating Disorders

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Perhaps the most prominent clinical feature associated with an eating disorder, poor body image is multidimensional. Thus, it’s not only about one’s dissatisfaction with size, shape or weight. It includes a person’s attitudes and perceptions. Providing an enlightening approach to eating disorders, Hilde Bruch’s observations note the link between body image disturbances and core features such as poor interceptive awareness and feelings of ineffectiveness. In essence, Bruch’s research laid the groundwork for treating eating disorders as serious medical conditions, not simply dieting decisions. As such, research continues to support the relationship among body image and temperamental characteristics. Though the “fear of becoming fat” is a primary component of eating disorders in Western culture, other countries do not always share this…

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September is Sexual Health Awareness Month

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There are a plethora of ways in which we are told to help maintain positive physical, mental, and emotional health. The one area of our health that is less frequently discussed, but equally important is our sexual health. As a culture, we see sexuality broadcasted across multi-media platforms in our everyday lives, but practicing a healthy sex life involves more than simply having an active sex life. The National Coalition for Sexual Health defines being sexually healthy as having a safe, satisfying sexual life, positive relationships, and peace of mind. Sexual health also means enjoying one’s sexuality and taking care of oneself and partner as well as feeling empowered and safe to talk about sexual health with your partner and…

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10 Unexpected Ways Your Anger is Leaking Everywhere

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Anger is often a misunderstood emotion. Is it healthy? Unhealthy? Are there signs and red flags before anger turns into rage? The truth is, anger is a completely normal and even a healthy human emotion – when it’s able to be expressed constructively. When a person feels anger, their body releases adrenaline, cortisol, and noradrenaline. Anger also affects a person’s heart rate, breathing rate, and body temperature, which explains why those who find it more difficult to healthily manage their anger struggle with high blood pressure, heart problems, and other health risks. Anger can affect people emotionally and mentally as well. The consequences to bouts of frequent and uncontrollable anger can cause depression, shame, low self-esteem, self-injury, the abuse of…

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Sexual Health Tips for Autumn

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While fall is known as the season for football and colorful leaves, it can also be an ideal season to boost your sexual health. The chilly, dark weather invites the perfect time to cocoon inside (or in bed) with your partner. In fact, there are several aspects of autumn that can foster better sexual wellness. Here are some ways to make the most of the season this year: Heat it Up As the hot summer nights are replaced with a noticeable chill in the air, use this as an opportunity to not only snuggle up with your partner during cool fall mornings but also generate extra heat during sex. Consider sexual positions such as missionary with a pelvic tilt or…

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Compulsive Sexual Behavior is Now Classified as a Mental Health Condition

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Though some have struggled with compulsive hypersexuality since the dawn of time, compulsive sexual behavior has only recently been acknowledged as a compulsive disorder. Very recently, the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), included compulsive sexual behavior, a condition to be categorized as an Impulse Control Disorder. The IDC-11 list defines compulsive sexual behavior as “a persistent pattern or failure to control intense, repetitive impulses or urges resulting in repetitive sexual behavior.” While advocating efforts are underway for the inclusion of compulsive sexual behavior as a treatable disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fifth Edition (DSM-5), there is unfortunately still much misunderstanding around the constitution of compulsive sexual behavior, or as some may…

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Gaslighting: Is It Happening To You?

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With unique perceptions about life and experiences, each of us develops sensory capacities that are different than the next, with distinct responses, beliefs and convictions. These ideas define who we are as individuals, and while we are continuously exposed to views that are different than our own, many of us remain true to core values and insights. Even so, psychologists point out an unfortunate reality that is lurking among personal and professional relationships—gaslighting. Though not always malicious or intentional, gaslighting is a form of sly manipulation and a way of exuding power over another. Victims might begin to question the ideas that they once felt sure about, including their judgment, reasoning and decision-making. Over time, individuals can lose touch with…

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What it Means to Be A Man

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Regardless of what school of parenting one is set to follow, a parent in today’s society will encounter the same hurdles as those in previous generations, which implies that they are also at risk for the same sort of pitfalls. Even so, in an increasingly digital society marked by packed schedules, constant striving for perfection and an overabundance of “straight talk,” there is some toxic and/or macho type of phrases that parents should avoid, particularly when speaking to their boys. In doing so, perhaps we can redefine what it means to be a man. In a recent article by Fatherly, Jeremy Brown says that in an effort to raise strong boys, parents have inadvertently created damaged men. Is this based…

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